We Californians are blessed with relatively few rainy days per year, making Northern California a great place for cyclists. However, when the weather turns wet, and we have more intense winters, it can be a daunting task to ride your bike and stay on your training regimen. Let’s face it, Zwift just isn’t as fun and the trainer stand feels like work. If you’re riding in the rain, keep these tips in mind.
- Wear appropriate clothing: The first thing you need to do when riding a bicycle in wet weather is to wear appropriate clothing. You should wear a waterproof jacket and pants, as well as waterproof shoes or boots. You should also wear gloves to keep your hands dry and warm.
- Check your bike: Before you start your ride, make sure that your bike is in good condition. Check the brakes, tires, and chain to ensure they are working correctly. If you are unsure about the condition of your bike, take it to a local bike shop for a check-up. Also, remember that rain can do damage to your chain.
- Slow down: When riding in wet weather, it is essential to slow down. Wet roads can be slippery, and your bike may not be able to stop as quickly as it would on dry roads. Allow yourself plenty of time to stop and slow down when approaching corners.
- Use your lights: When it’s raining or foggy, visibility can be poor. Ensure that your bike lights are working correctly and are turned on even in the daylight. This will make you more visible to other road users.
- Avoid standing water: Standing water can be deeper than it looks, and it can be challenging to judge how deep it is when riding. It’s best to avoid standing water where possible, or if you can’t avoid it, ride slowly and keep your feet up.
- Stay alert: When riding in wet weather, you need to be more alert. Look out for hazards such as slippery leaves, potholes, and other obstacles that may be harder to see in wet weather.
- Brake gently: When braking in wet weather, it’s essential to brake gently. Sudden braking can cause your wheels to lock, leading to a loss of control. Instead, brake slowly and steadily.